Advertising

The Seattle Times Company

NWjobs | NWautos | NWhomes | NWsource | Free Classifieds | seattletimes.com

Nation & World


Our network sites seattletimes.com | Advanced

Originally published November 14, 2006 at 12:00 AM | Page modified November 14, 2006 at 4:02 PM

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

Japan says its constitution would allow nukes for defense

TOKYO — Japan's new government said today the country's pacifist constitution allows it to own nuclear weapons for self-defense, a news report said.

However, the government also stressed Japan would not stray from its policy of forbidding nuclear weapons on Japanese soil, Kyodo News agency reported, citing a Cabinet Office statement.

The statement comes amid friction within Japan's political establishment over whether the country should discuss acquiring nuclear arms as a deterrent against North Korea, which tested its first nuclear bomb last month.

Possession of nuclear weapons is a sensitive issue in Japan, which in World War II became the only country to suffer a nuclear attack.

In response to a question from a lawmaker, the government said that the country's war-renouncing constitution ''does not necessarily ban the country from possessing any weapons, even nuclear ones, if they are the necessary minimum for self-defense,'' Kyodo News agency reported, citing a Cabinet Office statement.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has declared that Japan would not consider developing its own nuclear weapons. But some high-ranking members of his party, including Foreign Minister Taro Aso, have called for debate on going nuclear following Pyongyang's test blast.

Opposition lawmakers demanded last week that Aso be dismissed over his comments. The leading opposition Democratic Party of Japan and three other parties reiterated that demand Tuesday, saying in a statement that Aso's comments were grave and contradicted Japan's non-nuclear principles.

Japan's U.S.-drafted postwar constitution bans the use of force in settling international disputes. However, it does not refer to specific weapons.

E-mail E-mail article      Print Print      Share Share

More Nation & World

UPDATE - 10:01 AM
Rebels tighten hold on Libya oil port

UPDATE - 09:29 AM
Reality leads US to temper its tough talk on Libya

UPDATE - 09:38 AM
2 Ark. injection wells may be closed amid quakes

Armed guards save Dutch couple from Somali pirates

Navy to release lewd video investigation findings

More Nation & World headlines...

advertising


Get home delivery today!

Video

Advertising

AP Video

Entertainment | Top Video | World | Offbeat Video | Sci-Tech

Marketplace

Ford Transit air bag nearly 15 feet long; Coffee grounds can make biofuelnew
(Ford) Ford's jumbo air bag The 2015 Ford Transit 15-passenger wagon offers a five-row side-curtain air bag, a first for the auto industry. The air ba...
Post a comment

Advertising